The effect of Charolais and Hereford sires and straightbred and crossbred dams on pre-weaning growth of calves
Weaning performance of calves sired by Charolais and Hereford on dams of Angus, Bonsmara and Hereford and various crossbred dam combinations was compared. Charolais sired calves were on average 5 kg heavier at birth and 20 kg heavier at weaning than Hereford sired calves. Among the three straightbred dam breeds, the Bonsmara weaned calves that were approximately 6% heavier than both the Angus and the Hereford calves. The use of crossbred dams having intermediate levels of Charolais composition is suggested in crossbreeding programmes in intensive production systems based on cultivated pastures under irrigation.